MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
The Infantry Super Squad Competition has returned to 1st Marine Division and the training grounds of Marine Corps Camp Pendleton, Calif., for the second straight year after a 15 year hiatus due to the division’s high operational tempo.
“The last time an order was written for the Super Squad Competition the Marine Corps was using completely different weapons systems, said Staff Sgt. Matthew Muro, staff non-commission officer in charge and training chief of 1st Marine Division schools.
The Super Squad Competition is a three day, non-stop competition which pits squads from 1st Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Regiment, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion against one another.
The squads will be competing in the very skills that make a Marine rifleman, a rifleman.
“Marines have a competitive mentality by nature,” Muro stated. “Marines boast how much better they are than the other services, even how much better they are than each other. With this competition, we will be able to find out which unit has the best squad in the division.”
The competition will commence with the competitors’ gear being inspected and will move straight into the Marines conducting the Marine Corps Combat Fitness Test to assess the squad’s physical fitness.
The Super Squad Competition is not all about running and gunning. After the CFT is completed, the Marines will take a 100 question written exam on basic Marine infantry skills and knowledge.
During the remaining days, the Marines will be tested on their marksmanship and familiarity on a variety of weapon systems in their trade. Once the squad has completed the marksmanship ranges, the competitors will be given orders to conduct scouting and patrolling missions while they traverse the Camp Pendleton terrain.
As the squads patrol, they will encounter enemy forces where each member of the squad must work together to be successful in overtaking the enemy.
The squads will also dig fighting holes and set up a defense position. There, they will be evaluated how effective the squad leaders are in combat and how successful the squad is defending the position from enemy attacks.
As each squad crosses the finish line, they can hold their heads high knowing that they have competed against the best and gave everything they had to bring honor to not only their squad but their regiment.
Only one squad can bring the coveted 1st Marine Division Infantry Super Squad trophy back to their unit along with something more personal for the Marines who won. The winners will be awarded the 1st Marine Division Super Squad Competition Medal. Marines will be able to wear this in uniform as a symbol of their prowess, hard work, and dedication and be a reminder to others who won the 2016 1st Marine Division Infantry Squad of the Year.
“There will be Marines walking around with earned medals that are approved by the Marine Corps showing that not only are they good at their job, but they are the best at their job,” Muro stated. “Those Marines are the ones the Marine Corps want to be able to recognize and keep in the Corps so they can train the future generations to be the best.”
Watch the events unfold by following 1st Marine Division on Facebook and Twitter July 12-16 for live updates and show your support for the Marines and favorite squad as they compete for the coveted title of 1st Marine Division Infantry Squad of the Year.